Separation anxiety

….that is separation from my home!

I really hate going away; I hate the process of getting ready, all the essential but tedious preparations. Mounds of laundry to clear, things to clean and tidy, packing….It doesn’t matter in the end where I’m going or for how long. I just get upset  and anxious about it all. Remembering to get certain things done or put certain things in the packing simply winds me up to snapping point very quickly.

I gave up for a while today, took the dog out and when we got back I went to bed for a snooze. It hasn’t helped really. I’ve still got a lot to do and we’re off tomorrow.

I’m just hoping I can keep it together enough so I get in the car tomorrow without having done or said anything dreadful.

Urban Springtime

Urban Springtime


Petals and broken glass

Line the festal way.

Accidental emeralds gleam

Amid silken pink blossom

Trodden underfoot,

Sodden and sad:

Softness and sharpness

Mingling in the fallen trash.

Ten green bottles

Smashed against my wall,

Ten green bottles

Didn’t accidentally fall.

Drifts of pink petals

Candyfloss coloured

                   Blow lazily in hot wind

Drying to nothingness

In a few days, gone.

Some rubbish I can live with.


Marching on London

Yesterday I was in London with my students at the same time as the G20 protest march. We were kept away from the march and it passed peacefully, but I caught a quick view of them and snapped the following photo. The statue is of Boudicca(Boudicea) who marched on London and destroyed it in a bid to defeat the might of the Romans; it’s sited at the end of Embankment and faces the Houses of Parliament.

I’m sure you will appreciate the nuances and subtlties of the picture…



New Brickyard Lane

Over at Pilgrim’s blog  a story was posted that suggests how much we miss in everyday life.

The following poem needs a tiny bit of context explanation to be fully understood. When we first moved to our previous house in the Midlands, we were so busy moving in and getting settled a good deal of the things I like to do during the Spring got missed and so the following year, I bought a guide book to walks in the area around our village to give me an idea of what routes to take. One of the walks took in a rough track going out of the village and this lane, New Brickyard Lane was where according to the guide book one was most likely to see grass snakes in the Spring. Since I am very fond of snakes, I went for a wander up this ancient trackway (the brickyard was built in the seventeenth century and has long since vanished; the lane is littered with the remains of broken bricks.) 

New Brickyard Lane

No snakes today;
Just eggshells, dead magpies
And fragments of ancient bricks
Returning to the red clay.
The wind in a million leaves
Sounds like the summer sea
Whispering how deep it is.
On the way back
I gathered pine-cones
Till pockets and hands
Could hold no more.
I saw hundreds more in the gutter
Crushed from perfection to powder
By the relentless wheels
And I thought:
We have too much
That we can let such treasures lie


I’ve often thought that the presents people chose to give you for birthdays and for Christmas are actually a very interesting way of understanding how they see you, and this kind of mirror is rather a useful one for helping to reassess who we are.

I’ll try and explain. My parents gave me practical gifts this year, two new messenger bags and a shawl, and this reflects how they view me as a practical woman, living a busy life. It’s not strictly true as it’s only a small part of it, but it’s nonetheless a comforting feeling to know they subconsciously view me as able to take care of myself. The shawl is a caring touch, soft and warm and cosy, but also very practical; there are no threads  to get caught on cat claws and ruin the whole shawl.

My husband gave me a rock I had admired in a shop while we were out together months back. It’s a septarian nodule, often referred to as a dragon’s stone, and is a composite stone of several other minerals, calcite, aragonite and limestone. It’s polished and very smooth and extremely beautiful. I collect rocks; minerals, beach pebbles and crystals alike. I have some belief in the powers of crystals but a great deal of love for the beauty both visual and sensual they show. He also found me a CD of music, sacred Hindi chants mixed with the sounds of the waters at Chalice Well in Glastonbury. It’s one of the most lovely places in England and one of my utter favourites. The music was being played in a favourite shop, but as ti was a demo edition and wasn’t yet on sale I was unable to buy it at the time. He sneaked back while I was busy elsewhere and persuaded the shopkeeper (a friendly acquaintance of many years standing) to let him buy it for me. These gifts show his understanding of my loves of beauty and the sacred. I’ve looked up Septarian in some of the many directories online of “crystal meanings” and if you believe in that sort of thing, it seems appropriate that this unusual stone came to me right now.

One dear friend gave me a musical frog carved of wood; you run a stick along the ridges of its back and it makes a kind of croaking sound. According to Native American thought, my birthdate means I belong to the elemental clan of the frog; I suspect she doesn’t consciously know this but does know my love of unuusal artefacts and percussion instruments. It’s also probably Fair Trade, something I support when I can. A second dear friend also gave me a frog as a part of a gift made up of some incense cones and a windchime; the frog was the ceramic holder for the cones to sit in when being burned. It cannot be a coincidence that two people gave me frogs; I have a great affinity with them too. On a rare visit to the Friends Meeting House in Beccles, I surprised several of the Quakers I was talking with when I bent down to the surface of the little pond in the Meeting House garden and called a frog which proceeded to jump into the palm of my hand. I think they maybe think of me as the frog lady now!

My brother’s gift was a jacket, knitted in a rainbow lined with fleece and with a hood; it too is Fair Trade. I love the rainbow and have hat, gloves and even bootlaces but never something quite so big a statement as a jacket. It’s very bright and very vivid and impossible to ignore. It’s started people talking to me, to admire it. For me this gift shows that despite our profound differences in character and attitude in life, my brother has some real understanding of the person I am, and that whatever I felt when we were children, he does actually love me.

I had some lovely cards sent as well as some e-cards, and while it was a low key birthday, I felt cherished and cared for.

The gift that brought a lot of questions with it was from my daughter. She found for me the most beautiful silver Caduceus. If you are not familiar with this symbol it’s the symbol used by a number of health authorities; it’s usually depicted as a staff with wings and two snakes twining round it climbing it. This is sometimes referred to as the staff of Hermes, or of Ascelpius and is a powerful symbol used by healers.

It made me rethink my role as a healer. I did work as a healer once, using a form of massage as my medium but to be honest I was glad to let that go when we moved here. There are too many people out there who claim to be healers in some way and sadly so many of them are deluded and many delude others. I was not one of them; I knew the limitations of the modality I worked with and felt uncomfortable if people expected more.

But on a number of occasions over my whole adult life, I have laid hands on people and something beyond me has happened. Healing has occurred. It’s not me that does it, it’s as if something comes through me. It’s never been something I can turn on or off at will; it just sometimes happens. I’ve tried to leave that part of myself in the past because it brings up far too many questions that I can’t begin to answer and have become weary of asking. But my daughter has not forgotten and her gift to me has asked that I look again at myself as healer.

Perhaps I should do just that.

Dreams and reality collide

Yesterday I wished I had brought my camera with me. We’d taken the dog to the beach and on the way back nipped in to the little nature reserve near the car park there. Now there’s been a lot of work done on this area and it’s looking like becoming a grand area for nature to get on with it, and some paths through to stop people trampling.

One of the nicest features is a large pond, almost a small lake, and to make things even nicer, a large bench has been constructed out of old railway sleepers so you can sit and enjoy the view over the pond. As we did so, my hsuband spotted something unusual in the water: goldfish! First one and then a whole shoal of bright flashing fish, clearly released from bowls and aquariums when they got too big. They were all a good six inches long and obviously thriving, and as we watched we saw something else, just below the surface of the water. A gigantic and utterly majestic carp shadowed his brighter cousins. This fish was massive, several feet long perhaps, and the goldfish seemed unperturbed by him. He seemed almost a guardian of his domestic relatives.

Now on a number of occasions I have dreamed of ponds, lakes and rivers, where first massive goldfish and then other fish of improbable or even impossible sizes have lazily swam just below the surface, often raising their mouths and tasting the air. I’ve never been sure what if anything these dreams mean, but it was peculiar to see a version of my dream played out in real life.

Like I said, I wished I’d had my camera with me.